Cycling community mourns bicyclist killed during Loma Linda chase

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Fellow cyclists mourned Randy Stephenson, who was struck and killed by a suspect's vehicle during a police chase in Loma Linda.

The bicycling community in the Inland Empire is mourning the loss of an avid cyclist struck by a driver fleeing deputies - the second rider killed by a car in the area within the last month.

Randy Stephenson was riding on Barton Road in Loma Linda on his way to pick up a bicycle frame Friday when he was fatally struck by a car from behind. The suspect, wanted on a domestic violence warrant, was evading police and didn't stop after hitting the bicyclist, deputies said.

Stephenson was an avid cyclist. When he wasn't riding with the Redlands Water Bottle Transit Company bicycle club, he could be found at Don's Bicycles in Redlands.

"We kind of joked we had a Randy's corner," said shop manager Paul Robinson.

It was the shop that sheriff's deputies turned to for help identifying Stephenson after he was struck and killed. The shop was able to identify him by his bike.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said the suspect, 37 year-old Eric Tafoya, initially cooperated when he was pulled over, but then fled as a deputy approached his car. The deputy ran back to his car and the pursuit began.

They say when Tafoya came to slow-moving traffic he veered into the bicycle lane and hit Stephenson. He also hit a van and then jumped out of his car before he was caught.

Now a ghost bike and memorial marks the spot where Stephenson was killed.

This is the second time the bicycling community had to mourn one of their own. Last month, a hit-and-run driver struck and killed Duane Darling. The driver remains at large and a $25,000 reward has been offered for him.

Tafoya is now facing a murder charge in addition to the original domestic abuse case.
Related Topics:
newsbicycletraffic fatalitiescollisionbicycle crashLoma LindaSan Bernardino CountyRedlands
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